Pool safety has been a focus of building codes around the country for decades, yet the incidence of childhood drowning remains startlingly high. Each year, about two children per day die from drowning, and another ten are treated at the emergency room. This, despite requirements to fence pools to keep kids from falling in.
Though pools are a major risk to children, bathtubs can pose a risk to people of all ages as well. Though bathtub drownings are rare for children older than two, there is still a risk, particularly if the child is ill or under the effects of medications that make them drowsy. There is also the risk of a head injury due to a fall caused by a slippery surface knocking a child unconscious and rendering them incapable of removing themselves from even small amounts of water.
Though most pools are now fenced, fencing does not keep people safe if other safety systems are not in place. Though a child might need adult help to access water, adult presence alone is not enough to ensure safety. The best way to prevent accidental drownings is supervision by an experienced adult swimmer. Relying on teenagers or pre-teens is dangerous, as is trusting a sunbather or other distracted adult to keep an eye on swimming children. The person tasked with this responsibility must be diligent at all times.
If your child or another child you care about has suffered due to an accidental drowning, please consider retaining an experienced attorney. The first question is how the child gained access to the body of water, but the questions do not stop there. A full investigation must take place to make sure that proper safety considerations were in place at the time of the incident.